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The Kubasko Family

With a zest for life and all that goes with it, meet Wendy Mitchell Kubasko. She approaches life with her best.

She is what I call a “baby cousin.” Her mother and I are first cousins on our mothers’ side. According to the southern manner, we are first cousins once removed. Or to the Marton manner, second cousins. Whichever way you look at it we are cousins.

A funny story — when Wendy was a little girl, our relationship confused her. She knew we were cousins — but because age and size difference, she would get mixed up. She would at times call me Cousin Bette — at times Aunt Bette. Winding up calling me Cousin-Aunt Bette. My Aunt Margaret Fedorsic (her grandmother) thought it to be cute and perpetuated it. To this day, her family and beyond call me Cousin-Aunt Bette or CAB.

Along with her younger brother, Tommy, she grew up in Phoenixville. After graduating from Phoenixville Area High School, she went off to Shippensburg University, where she graduated with bachelor's degree in elementary education.

In 1999, her senior year, she and John Kubasko met at school. At the time, John was just starting his freshman year. As he finished up at Shippensburg, Wendy went to teach at Prince George’s County in Maryland.

After graduating, John moved to Arizona with his brother. Wendy chose to move to Arizona as well. She got an apartment of her own and a job tutoring. In 2001, Wendy and John were married and remained in Arizona.

It was at the time Wendy’s career started to climb. Starting out as an instructional coach — then to district and pro-development coordinator — Administrator for Academic Service — Director of Exceptional Student Services — Assistant Superintendent. Finally becoming “Dr. Wendy” when she earned her doctorate in educational leadership.

In 2005, she took the time to have her first child — Mitchell. Then in 2006, his brother Nathan was born. In 2012, they got a sister — Jamie. Jamie is the Kubasko’s beloved fur-baby. John became “Mr. Mom” along with handling his Blue Suede Studio marketing and design business.

With the decline of her dad’s health, they began to look to return to Pennsylvania. You must remember her dad — Big Tom Mitchell. For close to 50 years, he and Kathleen (Mrs. Claus) were well known not only for Christmas but year-round for their charitable contributions. For several years, Tommy and Wendy were elves — Jingle & Belle — and traveled with Santa.

Finally, in 2017 the Kubaskos returned to Shippensburg. Wendy began her current job as an assistant professor in the Education Leadership and Special Education Department.

The crock pot is one of her best friends. Her two active boys are involved in theater, flag football and a trillion projects — the household is in constant motion.

A simple meal almost like a party — this dip has all the veggies and protein of a good dinner. Best of all — it is a favorite of Mitch and Nate.

CROCK POT CHICKEN SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP

2-3 chicken beasts

1 package low fat cream cheese

1 package frozen spinach

3 jars artichoke hearts (packed in water)

2-3 Tbsp. chicken bouillon (or 2 cups broth)

2 cups of water (omit if using broth)

1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Place all the ingredients in crock pot & cook on low 6-8 hours. 30 minutes before serving, stir and break up chicken. Add shredded cheddar cheese & stir again. Serve with tortilla chips or 2”-4” celery pieces or carrot sticks, which helps boost the veggies.

ENJOY!

Contact columnist Bette Banjack at banjack303.verizon.net. Search YouTube – with BetteBanjack as well as phoenixvillenews.com (search bar Banjack). She can also be found on Facebook.

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